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Nielsen to Shed 3,500 Jobs in Restructuring

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 7/7/2020 Rick Porter

Nielsen will cut up to 3,500 jobs as part of a restructuring of its businesses to save money and focus on its core holdings.

The data company and TV ratings provider says the moves are part of a "broad-based optimization plan" to cut costs and make the remaining assets more efficient, as well as making Nielsen more profitable.

Under the plan, Nielsen will "exit several smaller, underperforming markets and noncore businesses" in the next few months. The optimization plan includes cuts of 3,500 staff worldwide — about 8 percent of the company's employees.

"Across Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, we are making progress on increasing our operational and financial discipline, including zero-basing our cost structure as we move toward the planned separation of Nielsen Global Connect," said Nielsen CEO David Kenny. "As discussed on our earnings call in April, we have increased our focus on platform consolidations, further automation, optimizing our global footprint, and ensuring that our resource allocation aligns with high-margin essential services.

"Today's plan encompasses, accelerates and expands on those initiatives. These restructuring actions will further expedite our transformation to a more efficient, agile and scalable organization and are designed to drive sustained margin expansion and increased cash generation. As part of the optimization plan, we have made the difficult decision to exit selected businesses and markets and permanently reduce our workforce. While these are important actions to take, I recognize the impact they have on our people, and I am grateful for the important contributions made by these talented associates during their time at Nielsen."

The company expects to take pretax restructuring charges of between $150 million and $170 million, up from an April estimate of $120 million to $140 million. About half of those charges, mostly in the form of severance, were incurred in the second quarter.

Nielsen will offer more details on its optimization plan in its quarterly earnings call Aug. 5.

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